Ancient Ram-Headed Sphinxes Excavated in Egypt From 3,000-Year-Old Workshop (See Pictures)
Sphinx discovered in Egypt (Photo Credits: Gebel el Silsila Project)

Archaeologists have discovered a 3,000-year-old abandoned workshop at Gebel el Silsila in Egypt. Several items including remains of an Egyptian carving workshop with several unfinished sculptures and a ram-headed sphinx made from sandstone were found. According to researchers, the ancient workshop is linked to Egyptian King Tut's grandfather.

A Swedish-Egyptian team of researchers who are behind the discovery found hundreds of hieroglyphic fragments and small 'practice piece' of a sphinx which may have been carved by an apprentice also at the site. Researchers involved in the discovery revealed in a blog post wrote, "The ram-headed sphinx measures approximately 5 m long, 3.5 m high, and 1.5 m wide, and was carved in a style comparable with the criosphinxes to the south of Khonsu Temple at Karnak. The archaeological context suggests a date from Amenhotep III of the 18th Dynasty." 5000-Year-Old Mummified Cats Uncovered From Egyptian Excavation Site in Cairo, View Pics.

Discovery site at Gebel el Silsila in Egypt

Sphinx discovered in Egypt (Photo Credits: Gebel el Silsila Project)

The team also found a rough-cut sculpture of a coiled cobra that had been carved to crown the head of the main Sphinx. The researchers said, "Both sculptures are preserved in a rough-cut and prepared for transportation, but were likely abandoned at Gebel el-Silsila as the larger sculpture fractured.  Since then, later Roman quarry activity buried the sphinxes in the spoil." Ancient Pottery Factory Unveiled in Israel.

Pharaoh wearing the blue crown, Part of the cartouche (Photo Credits: Gebel el Silsila Project)

They also found a falcon sculpture and a quarry text written on it at the time the site first opened.

Sphinx (Photo Credits: Gebel el Silsila Project)

Talking about which researchers say, "Included in the find is also a quarry text written in red ochre during the reign of Amenhotep III (c. 3350 years ago) at the time of the opening of the quarry, preserved with the depiction of a large scale figure. The team’s epigraphers are currently working on the text and image." The team is now trying to decipher the meaning of the inscriptions.  In the mid-1300s BC, the 18th Dynasty ruler reigned alongside Queen Tiye.